Since living in Italy I have these moments where I feel like I am really living La Dolce Vita. These moments happen randomly and when I least expect it. Usually, I am doing my normal day-to-day thing. When suddenly I get the feeling of having stepped into a film. All of the warm fuzzy feelings of life come rushing all over my senses. This is what I call “An Italian moment.”
Out on the Town
There is really nothing like riding your bicycle down an Italian cobblestone street as you head to the weekly market.
Church bells are tolling and you can smell baking fresh bread wafting from the bakery as you pass its store-front.
There is a group of elderly men standing on the side of the road talking with their hands clasped behind their backs.
You can imagine they are discussing last night’s football match, or what the had for dinner the previous evening with their wives.
It’s Saturday night and you’re sitting at a table with ten young Italian men and women sharing food, wine, conversation, and laughter. Everyone is boisterously talking, passing plates, and bottles around.
The first platter is of salty cured meats and stinky cheese with a side of honey and jam condiments.
Candles are burning, music is playing and the warmth of cooked food and loving company dances in the air.
After the first course is a hot pasta dish, which is almost assuredly cooked with someone’s homemade marinara sauce.
The third dish will often be some meat, perhaps a red steak with a pink juiciness that makes the mouth salivate, or grilled pork and chicken platter.
That is when you realize you might have already eaten enough food to last two weeks.
Of course, it is not a proper Italian dinner without some sweet cake or gelato to finish. Everyone now caps off their dinner with a coffee, that which of course is followed by a liquor, and an evening cigarette.
By the end of the meal, you’re a little sleepy from all of the food and laughter.
An Evening Walk
It’s a nice evening out and a walk is the best way to digest whatever meal you’ve just ingested. So you head to the nearby piazza. It seems everyone else has had the same idea.
The air is fresh as the sun warms your skin and you take a moment to look around with a sighing breath of relaxation. You sit on a bench, next to a sweet elderly couple and watch the light change.
The parents sit together as they watch over their children. The kids gather in the square to play some form of Tag calling out to each other as they run and hide from the one labeled “It”.
You’re sitting on the steps of a sweet Italian villa and you can hear the birds tweeting, bees buzzing and a kitten meowing somewhere out of sight. It’s a perfect September day.
Sunlight warms the skin and shade is refreshingly cool. The grass is finally growing tall and green after such a difficult summer.
Everything seems to be coming back to life. You can feel the world move slowly around you. Here is nothing here but the natural elements creating this beautiful day.
If you liked these short narratives check out my Initial moments in Marrakech Pt. 1.